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University of Bath

Career planning timeline for postgraduate research students: careers helpsheet

A Careers Service leaflet to help you with career planning during your postgraduate research.

This leaflet is also available in hard copy from the Careers Service.

As a careers team we often find that doctoral students wait until the last few months of their thesis – or even after submission – to think about their careers. While a last-minute approach to career planning can be successful, and your main priority needs to be completing the doctorate on time, there can be huge benefits to giving some time during your research – and not just in your final year – to exploring possible career options, enhancing your employability and thinking about what type of career might suit you best. Whether you are planning to stay in academia or move outside, the process of deciding what you want to do is likely to require quite a bit of time and thought.

We’ve put together a career planning timeline to give you some idea of the types of things you could be doing to develop your career at each stage of your doctorate – right from first year.